Gunman takes aim at Bhutto
Dramatic photographs from a video that captured the suspected assassin of Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto as he aimed his pistol and fired were released today by Dawn News.
The most dramatic images clearly show the hand of the assassin raised with a hand gun firing at Bhutto as she stood through the sun roof of the car leading her from a rally in Rawalpindi.
Another photo shows the same man wearing sun glasses, standing in the crowd before the shooting.
The video is certain to fuel claims the Musharraf government was attempting to engineer a cover-up in claiming the cause of death was Bhutto hitting her head on a metal lever in her bulletproof vehicle as she attempted to lower herself into the car to escape injury in the suicide bombing that occurred within seconds of the shooting.
View from rear of motorcade: Gunman takes aim at Bhutto
The differing perspectives of the photographs released by Dawn, with one taken from the left side of the motorcade as it passed and the other from the rear of the motorcade, indicate the paper may be in possession of at least two videos of the attack.
An earlier government claim, now disavowed, was that shrapnel from the suicide bomb killed Bhutto.
Sherry Rehman, a close aid to Benazir Bhutto told news agencies she saw a bullet wound in Bhutto’s head when she bathed the body in preparation for burial.
“I was actually part of the party which bathed her body before the funeral,” she told Dawn. “There was a bullet wound I saw that went in from the back of her head and came out the other side. We could not even wash her properly because the wound was still seeping. She lost a huge amount of blood.”
The video posted on Sky News shows the gunman standing along the left rear side of Bhutto’s vehicle firing his weapon repeatedly.
“The hospital was made to change its statement,” Rehman claimed.
Assassin in crowd before shooting
“I believe the interior ministry is saying that she died from some concussion that may have taken place against the sunroof,” she said. “This is ridiculous, dangerous nonsense because it is a cover-up of what actually happened.”
Baitullah Meshud, an alleged Al-Qaida leader blamed by the Pakistan government for killing Bhutto also denied any involvement.
“This is a conspiracy of the government, army and intelligence agents,” Maulana Omar, a spokesman for Meshud said. Meshud is headquartered in Pakistan’s tribal Waziristan area bordering Afghanistan
Omar denied that a transcript released by the government, allegedly from recorded phone call of Meshud congratulating a militant for the assassination, was faked. Under pressure the government was trying to engineer a rush to judgment designed to shift blame away from Musharraf and the feared secret police Inter Services Intelligence Agency, or ISI, he said
While no official government autopsy was conducted on Bhutto’s body to determine the cause of death, the government has offered to exhume her body for further examination.
Meanwhile, the Musharraf government is rejecting calls for an international inquiry into the Bhutto assassination.